Archive for the ‘language’ Category

jean-dominique bauby’s alphabet

July 31, 2008

I recently watched “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” and the movie has intrigued me ever since.

According to the movie, the French alphabet in order of frequency is:

E S A R I N T U L

O M D P C F B V

H G J Q Z Y X K W

Anyway, are these letters in the correct order? I searched through the good ol’ wiki pages and according to almighty wiki, the French alphabet in order of frequency is:

e
s
a
i
t
n
r
u
l
o
d
c
p
m
é
v
q
f
b
g
h
j
à
x
y
è
ê
z
w
ç
ù
k
î
œ
å
ä
c
ë
ĝ
ğ
h
ì
ï
i
j
ñ
ò
ö
s
s
ß
u
ü

You be the judge.

And if you’re curious, here’s the English alphabet in order of frequency of occurrence:

E T O A N I R S H D U L C M P F Y W G B V K J X Z Q

Sources:

Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequencies

how do you pronounce the french “r”?

July 18, 2008

The letter R is probably the most difficult sound in the French language. I have looked high and low for tips or instructions on how to pronounce it from an English speaker’s point of view. And here’s the best answer I have found so far:

Make the sound in your throat that you would make if you were gargling a liquid, like mouthwash. But without liquid.

Sort of a ghghgh sound…

Source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071015154025AAucp7r&show=7

aussie slang

September 6, 2007

From Holidays Allover, an Australian travel agency:

“G’day!” is the old Australian favourite. It means “good day” and is only used informally. These days, however, you are more likely to be greeted with “hi!” or”hello!” or even the execrable”Yo!”.

Australians tend to shorten many words. Take “Australian”, for example. It takes too long to say you see, so it gets abbreviated to Aussie, Barbeque becomes barbie (not the doll). Football = footy (and the t turns into a d sound half the time). Never call us consistent, because Mr. Johnson will most likely be Johnno if he is considered a good bloke. We are also more likely to have a smoko instead of a tea break (even if we don’t smoke) whilst drinking a cuppa (coffee).

Here are my favorite Aussie slang words courtesy of Student Services at Charles Sturt University:

a tiff: a small fight or argument
bloke: male
blow a fuse: get angry
bludger: someone who doesn’t like working very hard
chock-a-block: full
chook: chicken
dill: someone who isn’t very bright or has done something silly
crook: feeling sick or not good (e.g. I am feeling crook)
dunny: toilet/bathroom
esky: a portable container that is insulated and keeps your food/drinks cool
fair go: to give someone a chance
g’day: hello
grog: alcohol
hold on a tick: wait a minute
mossies: mosquitos
sanger: sandwich (e.g. steak sanger)
sheila: female
uni: university
ute: a type of car

word of the hari

August 23, 2007

I have recently subscribed to Indonesian word of the day. I haven’t been so impressed with it until today, day three of my subscription. Here’s what I got:

hari

Translation: day

Pronunciation: “ha-ree

Part of speech: noun

Contoh (example):

Minggu ini saya ada satu hari libur.

This week I have one day off.

Related Words:

sehari (adverb) = one day

seharian (adverb) = the whole day, all day long

harian (adverb) = daily

sehari-hari (adverb) = every day

berhari-hari (adverb) = day after day

I love how I can focus on one word at a time. The example sentences do not make much sense to me right now, but I know eventually they will. When learning a new language, you got to start somewhere right? Just follow a path that works best for you. In my case, I usually follow the most fun path.

For instance, I take the bus to work everyday. I enjoy the luxury of not having to worry about a car, parking, insurance payments, possible accidents, violation tickets, the obscene price of gasoline, and such. But waiting for and riding a bus can be time-consuming and boring, so for the last several months I have transferred my Pimsleur Spanish I series over to my ipod and I make perfect use of my idle time. In the Spanish I series, I have diligently and religiously gone through each lesson, in sequence, and in multiple iterations per lesson until I can get it 100% right.

Now that I am listening to the Pimsleur Spanish II series, I have jazzed it up a bit. I listen to each lesson in random order. What’s nice about Pimsleur Spanish II is that after completing Spanish I, each lesson in Spanish II is, for the most part, independent from each other. So I know that eventually, I will master all 30 lessons, as a group. Anyway, learning Spanish this way makes it exciting and fun for me. This way, learning a language does not feel like a chore.

Have fun learning a new language!

i am fine, thank you

August 18, 2007

What is baik? It is one of the first few words that you will get familiar with when you’re starting to learn Bahasa Indonesia. The Indonesian language has no specific equivalent to our “hello”, but often, the greeting Apa kabar? or “What’s news?” will be used. So when someone asks you Apa kabar? or the Indonesian equivalent of “How are you?”, you can respond with Kabar baik or simply baik. Note that the “k” is almost silent, so you essentially pronounce it “Bi”.

By the way, a better response would be Baik baik saja, terima kasih or “I’m just fine, thank you”.

There are many other ways baik is used in everyday conversations in Indonesia. Here is an excellent list of commonly used words.